Art of Roughhousing

by Anthony DeBenedet MD and Lawrence Cohen PhD

Recommended by ONCDC


This is one of my favorite books for active hands-on suggestions. The Art of Roughhousing can be read start to finish or used for reference to pull little pieces from here or there. The author’s articulate the importance of tough and tumble or big body play so well. I felt like I walked away with a new tool to support social learning and deepen my relationships.

Key Points:

  • Physical play builds social skills.
  • Physical play is essential for organizing children's sensory systems.
  • You can adapt your roughhousing to meet your and your child's needs.


  • This book was out of print for a while which made it hard to get your hands on a copy
  • Many if not most of the moves offered are designed for children a bit older. I would love to see a book focused on toddlers and preschoolers specifically!